Reviews

Espo Espinosa
All Together Happy

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All Together Happy is a track that has a very raw and real sound to it throughout the recording. The backing track has a pretty effective drum pattern, an appealing roll of the kick drum, and a beautiful yet simple bit of piano running consistently throughout the music. Over the top of this is a very personal and emotional rap-style performance. It’s reflective hip-hop, essentially, but presented very calmly, almost like spoken word – it could, in theory, be a poetry performance; with just as much feeling. There’s a lot of creativity present, without the need for masses of effects and additional sounds – and that’s a wonderful thing.

There’s a lot of angst, and alot of quick rhymes as well – this means there’s so much to listen to, even within just this single track. You learn a lot about the mind and the character of the artist, which gives it a very accessible touch. As mentioned, it sounds real; there’s nothing fake about it, there’s no hiding behind anything flashy or misleading.

It’s noticeable that there’s no break in the track at any point, no hook, no significant instrumental moment – the vocal just moves out and around, again and again, giving the feeling of it being almost like a dramatic monologue. It’s unique, definitely, and there is always room to experiment and play around with the musical possibilities in the future.

Espo Espinosa has a number of new tracks up on his Youtube channel that you can check out. Much of it is extremely experimental; it’s unusual, unexpected, and at times a little haunting – but always very real sounding, and music that haunts of course always has a place, and is clearly effective, in itself. In The North Country is a great example of this. Head over and check it out for yourself. This one is less hip-hop, more of an Elliot Smith style acoustic piece. Still with that inherrent deep thought and emotion that was highlighted in All Together Happy. You also become really familiar with the sound of Espo’s voice as you listen to the tracks. It has a certain tone and style to it that is easily recognisable once you’ve put a name to the sound.

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Rebecca CullenMusician & writer with an MA in Songwriting.


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